Five Bedford gang members handed combined 79 years in jail for crimes including GBH, conspiracy to kidnap, and possession of knives and guns

Crime news
Crime news

Members of two rival gangs have been given prison sentences totalling 79 years following a series of violent incidents in Bedford in 2017.

The K Block gang and the Mile Road gang both dealt in the sale of illegal drugs, and resorted to kidnap and violence using knives and guns to warn their rivals off.

And five of their members have now been jailed.

Luton Crown Court heard how 25-year-old Saffa Gbonda, a member of the K Block gang, had assaulted a man in Kempston on June 3, 2017.

After the attack he bundled his victim into a car and drove off.

The car was forcibly stopped by police, Gbonda was arrested at the scene, and the victim taken to hospital.

However this event was the catalyst for gang warfare throughout the month of June, with four other men having their trials held at Harrow Crown Court.

The court heard that Mile Road Gang retaliated two weeks later on June 17, when members Terrell Romain and Maksims Boikovs attacked a man in Hawkins Road, Bedford.

The duo almost hacked through their victim’s wrist with a large knife.

On June 19, K Block gang members Antonio Ziu, 22, and Vincent Kingswell-Shaw, 23, were involved in a reprisal shooting in Miller Road, where two men were seriously injured and property was significantly damaged.

Saffa Gbonda was convicted of conspiracy to kidnap and GBH with intent in October 2018, and sentenced to nine years extended by three years in prison on Thursday (March 21).

On March 11, Terrell Romain was convicted of violent disorder, possession of a bladed article and wounding with intent, and sentenced to 15 years, extended by three years in prison; Maksims Boikovs was convicted of violent disorder, possession of a bladed article, and wounding with intent, and sentenced to 14 years in prison; Antonio Ziu was convicted of conspiracy to commit GBH with intent, and possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life, and sentenced to 16 years extended by three years in prison; and Vincent Kingswell-Shaw was convicted of conspiracy to commit GBH with intent and possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life, and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Following the last of the sentencings, senior crown prosecutor Charles White, from the CPS, said: “These two gangs routinely carried knives and guns on the streets in Bedford, resorting to violence to warn their rivals off.

“Despite a wall of silence from the gang member victims, we were able to present a range of evidence to the jury including witnesses’ statements, phone data, forensic evidence and CCTV footage which clearly placed individual gang members at the different incidents.

“Criminal activity and violence of this nature has no place on our streets, and we will continue to work with the police to catch, prosecute and bring to justice those people who engage in this activity.”